Book Review: The View from the Cheap Seats

Title: The View from the Cheap Seats
Author: Neil Gaiman
Date Published: May 31, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars
Date read: March 31, 2020
Reread: yes

The View From the Cheap Seats is a collection of essays, articles, introductions, etc. written by Neil Gaiman throughout his career. There is no one over arching theme of the novel, and to give you a better idea of what you’re getting into, the novel is divided up into the following sections:
-Some Things I Believe
-Some People I Have Known
-Introductions and Musings: Science Fiction
-Films and Movies and Me
-On Comics and Some of the People Who Make Them
-Introductions and Contradictions
-Music and the People Who Make It
-On Stardust and Fairy Tales
-Make Good Art (the Make Good Art speech)
-The View from the Cheap Seats: Real Things

I definitely preferred the first few and last couple of sections over the middle sections, but that may have been due to my own personal interests. I think the beginning and last sections are easier to read in that they don’t require much context, whereas with some of the middle sections, if you haven’t read or watched or listened to the pieces he refers to then you can potentially be spoiled or not invested. I’m also not sure I liked how the novel was organized. This type of organization meant that similar themes and things kept being discussed, which is fine, but at some points I felt he was just repeating what he had said in a previous piece. 

What I liked most about this novel was the narration. If you are able to listen to this book I highly recommend you do so. Neil Gaiman narrates it himself and he’s one of the best audiobook narrators out there. Hearing some of his more motivational pieces in this novel really felt motivating and made me want to do things I am passionate about. He’s also really great at making me interested in reading and watching some of the novels and movies he discussed that I haven’t already read and watched. I think this is a great novel if you’re a Gaiman fan and you’re in need of a pick-me-up or if you want to hear about some of the works Gaiman loves.

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